March 22, 2018 / 11:30 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Nigerian senate clears way for central bank's MPC to meet

(Adds background)

ABUJA, March 22 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s senate approved the appointment of two deputy central bank governors and three members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Thursday, giving the rate-setting panel sufficient numbers to meet for the first time this year.

The Senate had held up some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominations in a dispute that had left the MPC unable to form a quorum of six. The next MPC meeting is scheduled for April 3-4.

Unable to establish a quorum, the bank cancelled its first MPC meeting in January and left interest rates on hold at 14 percent, a level it has kept for over a year to support the naira and curb inflation.

Senate leader Bukola Saraki said Aisha Ahmad and Edward Lametek Adamu had been confirmed as deputy governors, while Festus Adenikinju, Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi and Robert Chinwendu Asogwa had been appointed to the MPC.

Nigeria’s fundamentals suggest there may be scope for a rate cut.

Inflation fell to an almost one-year low in February at 14.13 percent, while dollar reserves rose to $46 billion. Though the economy emerged from its first recession in 25 years last year, growth remains fragile. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh Writing by Ed Cropley Editing by James Macharia)

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